The Soul’s Journey of Self-Knowledge as Criticism of Stoic oikeiôsis
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This paper considers Philo of Alexandria’s interpretation of Abraham’s journey from Chaldaea to Palestine, foregrounding Philo’s use of the journey as a metaphor to criticize the Stoic theory of oikeiôsis
. The journey is a metaphor that helps Philo to advance his views
about self-knowledge as an alternative to this Stoic theory of moral progress. In this implicit polemic, Philo suggests that the Stoic theory guides us in the wrong direction, remains too immanentist, and posits an end state to a process that has no end.